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SPIE Professional July 2009

Students Make Photonics ToolkiT Success in Canada

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology focues on entrepreneurship.

Collaboration among optics students and support from SPIE brought the Photonics ToolkiT conference to life in Canada's largest optics and photonics university research center earlier this year.

Held in Québec City at the Center for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL) at Laval University, the three-day workshop attracted more than 100 graduate students in optics from 10 universities in Canada and the United States.

The event was organized by students from Laval, École Polytechnique de Montreal, and other universities in the region and received support from SPIE, the Canadian Institute for Photonics Innovation, and other organizations. Its main purpose was to offer a variety of practical tools which are usually not included in a university education in optics.

For example, workshops gave tips about job seeking, resumes, interviews, working with specific software, and effective oral presentations. Two discussion panels and a "Cocktail with the Experts' event supported the other main objective, to promote networking among experts in the field and students.

Other activities included a poster presentation, laboratory visits (pictured above), and presentations on several research centers. Because Photonics ToolkiT was so successful, organizers are considering holding another workshop in the future.

-David Hélie and Gabrielle Thériault, Laval SPIE Student Chapter

EIT Focus on Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship will play a central role in the newly established European Institute of Innovation & Technology and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs).

EIT, based in Budapest, is the EU's flagship initiative for boosting Europe's innovation capacity and addressing a shortage of high-tech entrepreneurs who can stimulate economic growth.

The EIT is establishing master's, doctoral, and postdoc programs that will emphasize learning about entrepreneurship by "doing entrepreneurship."

It has also issued calls for proposals for its KICs and for experts. The call for experts is addressed to individuals for the establishment of a database of independent experts to provide expertise in support of evaluations and of implementation of the  KICs.

The mission of the EIT is to capitalize on the innovation capacity and capability of actors from higher education, research, business and entrepreneurship from the EU and beyond through the creation of highly integrated KICs.

More information: eit.europa.eu

Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at spieprofessional@spie.org.

DOI: 10.1117/2.4200907.16

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